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The Bump Editors

When to Start Taking Baby to The Dentist

PUBLISHED ON 02/09/2015

It’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, which means we’ll be giving you helpful tips on dental care for baby and answering all those questions you have about those adorable baby teeth. Here, Chris Kammer, DDS, Lifetime Family Dentistry and president of The American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, weighs in on the best time to schedule baby's first dentist appointment.

This might be surprising to some people: Children should have a dentist by the time they're one year old. The exams are simple and can be very easy on your child. Usually, you and the dentist will sit knee to knee, and your toddler will sit on your lap, facing you with her legs wrapped around your waist. You'll have your child lay back so that her head is resting on the dentist's lap. The dentist will check your child's mouth and count her teeth, examine the gums, identify abnormalities and even clean the teeth if needed.

Worried a visit to the dentist might scare your toddler? Pick up one or two of the many children's books about dentist visits and read them to her so she knows just what to expect. Also, having your child accompany you on your own dental visits will help her feel more at ease by allowing her to meet the dentist and office staff before she's the patient herself.